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Energies 2013, 6(12), 6188-6210; doi:10.3390/en6126188

On the Efficacy of PCM to Shave Peak Temperature of Crystalline Photovoltaic Panels: An FDM Model and Field Validation

Department of Energy, Information Engineering and Mathematical Models, DEIM, Viale delle Scienze, Ed.9, Palermo 90128, Italy
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Received: 12 July 2013 / Revised: 11 November 2013 / Accepted: 14 November 2013 / Published: 28 November 2013
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Abstract

The exploitation of renewable energy sources and specifically photovoltaic (PV) devices have been showing significant growth; however, for a more effective development of this technology it is essential to have higher energy conversion performances. PV producers often declare a higher efficiency respect to real conditions and this deviation is mainly due to the difference between nominal and real temperature conditions of the PV. In order to improve the solar cell energy conversion efficiency many authors have proposed a methodology to keep the temperature of a PV system lower: a modified crystalline PV system built with a normal PV panel coupled with a Phase Change Material (PCM) heat storage device. In this paper a thermal model analysis of the crystalline PV-PCM system based on a theoretical study using finite difference approach is described. The authors developed an algorithm based on an explicit finite difference formulation of energy balance of the crystalline PV-PCM system. Two sets of recursive equations were developed for two types of spatial domains: a boundary domain and an internal domain. The reliability of the developed model is tested by a comparison with data coming from a test facility. The results of numerical simulations are in good agreement with experimental data.
Keywords: phase change material; crystalline photovoltaic modules; heat storage; finite difference method; experimental validation phase change material; crystalline photovoltaic modules; heat storage; finite difference method; experimental validation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lo Brano, V.; Ciulla, G.; Piacentino, A.; Cardona, F. On the Efficacy of PCM to Shave Peak Temperature of Crystalline Photovoltaic Panels: An FDM Model and Field Validation. Energies 2013, 6, 6188-6210.

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